April 26, 2004

I'm Back!!!

Hello! I'm back and well rested. Jet lag does funny things to a Riza.

I'm the ugly American married to the other ugly American. I love having ice in my drinks even in Scotland, I like having a big washing machine and drier and I think I save energy by running one big load instead of three little ones. I like not having to tell people to move their leg when they are blocking the entrance to the train. Maybe the girl didn't trip jk but she sure didn't make it easier for him to get on and off the train. Pay backs are a bitch and I don't travel lightly and I might have rolled my luggage on her little old foot.

Home is where I want to be. But I guess I'm already here. We're getting air con next week. jk's MS is a great excuse to put in air con. The real thing is that they built townhouses in the field and now it's not quiet at night and Riza can't sleep. Riza is not a nice person if she doesn't get enough sleep. Did I mention that Riza can be really crabby even with lots of coffee?

Skylark is the only dog again. We watched her boy toy Rusty for a week while Aunty Brooke was on a cruise. Rusty is a good dog but he likes to roam the neighborhood.

Life is good!!


Posted by Riza Rivera at 3:36 PM | Comments (1)

April 22, 2004

Interesting MS Website

My brother sent me a link to a good website. I like the name a lot: Multiple Sclerosis Sucks, or "How to Suffer From a Chronic and Incurable Disease Without Appearing to be a Total Loser"

I spent a little more time with this site. The author is funny but he does not parallel me or my experience.

Most notably, everybody’s been great. People drive me mad with bad musical taste and stupid driving &c. But I cannot think of one person whose reaction to my MS or my mention of it was in any way inappropriate. People were shocked and saddened and didn’t always know what to say – but nobody offended me. He offers a humorous list of stereotypical reactions. Dang, people were honest; they were happy for what was good and disappointed for what was bad.

On the same token, I find people are very helpful. I don’t like to be “babied” but I know that folks who tend that way are trying to be nice.

Yes, I get advice that I don’t expect to put in practice, but I just smile and nod – kinda like everybody else on this planet. “Flaxseed oil, oh yes – I’ll have to try that…”

I have been told that it is better to be diagnosed later in life, he mentions the opposite. (Although one common thing about most stories is hat when one gets diagnosed, a bunch of weird things that could never be figured out all seem to fall in place.) I have had seizures, vision loss, lost appetite, and numbness over the last 10 or twenty years. I’d get better and stop thinking about it.

Man. I do not think “you’re gonna die…” Well, I am but probably not from this. It’s just something to deal with.

I am anxious (in both senses of the word) to begin medication. Trepidation because of side effects and unpleasant application (stick myself with needles?) And yet, my Doctor has hinted that he expects close to a full recovery. Even I am not that optimistic but bring it on kids, I’ll give it a try.

But there is some funny stuff and some interesting stuff on his website. There are a lot of MS websites and most of them just scare me. This one is pretty good.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:30 PM | Comments (2)

April 15, 2004

Home Safe and Sound

We're back! Skylark is happy to see us and we are very glad to be home.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:13 AM

April 13, 2004

Back to old blighty

Riza took these pix in Edinburgh. The castle (from Starbucks):edincastle.jpg
...and from the University (how about those blue skies!)
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We're in Chichester now -- see y'all on Wednesday.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:17 AM

April 11, 2004

Happy Easter from Scotland!

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I am enjoying my first visit to Scotland. I am literally across the street from Edinburgh Castle, blogging from a Starbucks. (Grande, breve cap, extra–dry at my side – I LOVE globalism!!)

I think I have distilled – over the last week – the four points which define the differences between the US and Europe:

1) The UN and ICC: The US, with its muscular military is comfortable exercising its will and protecting her national interests and sovereignty. The EU nations are more content to pursue diplomatic resources to try and solve problems. (Advantage: US)

2) Agricultural Subsidies. All nations seem content to discard comparative advantage and the wealth generated by the free movement of capital to protect their domestic farmers.(No advantage, both fail)

3) GM Crops. Again, as science producers, the US is more comfortable with the benefits of Genetically-modified crops. The EU hurts itself by disallowing these higher-yielding goods – and penalizes African farmers by banning their import. (Advantage: US)

4) Ice in Beverages, I got two ice cubes in my Diet Coke on he flight from Dublin to Edinburgh, Riza none. The proprietor of our B&B turned from Fred Rodgers to Basil Fawlty when I asked for ice. I could hear him thinking as I left “Bloody Americans – they come to our FREEEZING country and what do they want? Ice cubes!!

Ugly American signing out, see you on Wednesday!.

Posted by John Kranz at 8:49 AM

April 8, 2004

Brian, MaryKay and Riza

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Wearin' o' the green.


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Riza does Grafton Street.


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MaryKay and Brian

Posted by John Kranz at 4:09 AM | Comments (3)

Long Weekend

Work and meetings have gone very well. It looks like we have a long weekend to play. We will spend a couple of days at the K Club in Kildare, then Easter in Scotland, finish up some meetings there on Monday, then back to the UK.

Riza has some pictures of her travels through Dublin with young Brian, we'll try to get those posted soon. Cheers!

Posted by John Kranz at 3:00 AM

April 6, 2004

Safe and Sound

We are here in Dublin, staying at my buddy's house.

The weather is pretty good -- and the food is great! Pictures and more to come...

Posted by John Kranz at 5:48 AM

April 4, 2004

We're off to Ireland/ England

Hi! We're off to Ireland / England at 5pm. Our friends are giving us a ride to the airport. We're cleaning the house this morning. Aunty Brooke and Rusty are coming our to keep Skylark company. Skylark loves Rusty and Aunty Brooke.

We went out for dinner last night with Rusty, Rika, Katey and RJ for Rusty's birthday (It's today). We went to Ruby Tuesday. I like that place.

I bringing a lot of Atkin's food so I don't starve and bringing home tea. They have a version of Lipton called PG Tips and it's so good. One tea bag lasts a long time. One thing about the Brits, they know their tea. Their food may be odd but the tea is to die for. Makes me question the Boston tea party. What were we thinking? Keep the tea, toss the people. Then again it was about taxes. People do strange things when you start raising taxes. Speaking of taxes. We did them early. Life is good!!

Take care. We'll post stuff from the other side of the pond.

Posted by Riza Rivera at 7:09 AM